The 4th of September 2023 marked 30 years since Volvo Trucks introduced the Volvo FH, the company’s best-selling truck ever. From its start, Volvo’s flagship model has been characterised by its distinctive exterior and interior design, superb driver comfort and technically advanced efficiency and safety solutions.
Volvo FH is one of the industry’s most successful models ever with nearly 1,4 million trucks sold, in around 80 markets all over the world. New from the wheels up, offering excellent driveability and fuel efficiency, the Volvo FH quickly came to represent a completely new standard in truck driving when it was launched in 1993. Thirty years later, Volvo FH is truly iconic.
The Volvo FH series has been a favourite among truck drivers for many years, especially for those who spend a good portion of their lives on the road.
In South Africa, FH has been sold locally since 1994, with more than 25 550 units sold to date. Since June this year, the FH is also available as an electric truck model locally.
“Volvo FH is the perfect representation of a customer focused mindset and a model that has been pushing the boundaries globally for 30 years. In all crucial areas like driver comfort, fuel efficiency, safety and productivity, we have never stopped improving this truck,” says Waldemar Christensen, MD of Volvo Trucks South Africa. “We are also very proud to have been assembling this range at our Durban plant since 2006.”
Volvo FH has been and remains an innovation leader. It was launched with a totally new chassis, using a design that facilitated flexible solutions for different transport applications. The groundbreaking driveline had a completely new 12 litre engine (16-litre for the Volvo FH16) and the all-new cab offered outstanding aerodynamics and driver comfort.
The innovations have continued through the years, always with the Volvo values of safety, quality and care for the environment as the starting point. Innovation milestones over the past three decades include the driver’s airbag, the automated gearbox solution I-Shift and Volvo Dynamic Steering, which provides effortless steering and great manoeuvrability.
On the exterior design side, the rear-view mirrors with a unique slim design that gives better direct vision for the driver, and the V shaped headlamps, offering both improved visibility and comfort for the driver while giving the truck its distinctive appearance, are two examples of how Volvo technology and design are used to add valuable benefits for the driver.
“The first-generation Volvo FH was a game changer that totally transformed the concept of a modern truck. Since then, we have continued to set new standards in trucking and launched five further generations of this truck,” says Christensen.
“We believe that our success formula has been to make use of the very latest technology in a way that always adds clear benefits for our customers and drivers. As proof of our successful continuous improvement efforts and constant evolution, the Volvo FH is the only truck that has been selected ‘International Truck of the Year’ three times.”